COVID-19 – Advice for hotels in quarantine
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by a new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
How is COVID-19 transmitted?
COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth when a person with COVID-19 is coughing or sneezing and through contaminated objects and surfaces around the person. People can catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
How long is the incubation of COVID-19?
The incubation period for COVID-19 ranges from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days. These estimates will be updated as more data become available.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and cough. Other symptoms include aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people may be asymptomatic. Approximately 80% of people recover from the disease without special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people with COVID-19 develop severe disease. Elderly, and people with underlying medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.
What protective measures are recommended for COVID-19?
- Regularly and thoroughly washing hands with soap and water or cleaning hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash.
- Maintaining at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth.
- Covering mouth and nose with bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing and immediately disposing of the used tissue.
- Staying home when feeling ill. When symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing develop medical attention should be sought after calling and reporting the symptoms.
- Staying aware about the latest COVID-19 situation.
- The guidelines of the local national public health authority should be followed.
What is the definition of close contact?
Close contact of a probable or confirmed case is defined as:
- A person living in the same household as a COVID-19 case;
- A person having had direct physical contact with a COVID-19 case (e.g. shaking hands);
- A person having unprotected direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g. being coughed on, touching used paper tissues with a bare hand);
- A person having had face-to-face contact with a COVID-19 case within 2 metres and > 15 minutes;
- A person who was in a closed environment (e.g. classroom, meeting room, hospital waiting room, etc.) with a COVID-19 case for 15 minutes or more and at a distance of less than 2 metres;
- A healthcare worker (HCW) or other person providing direct care for a COVID-19 case, or laboratory workers handling specimens from a COVID-19 case without recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) or with a possible breach of PPE;
- A contact in an aircraft sitting within two seats (in any direction) of the COVID-19 case, travel companions or persons providing care, and crew members serving in the section of the aircraft where the index case was seated (if severity of symptoms or movement of the case indicate more extensive exposure, passengers seated in the entire section or all passengers on the aircraft may be considered close contacts).
The epidemiological link to a probable or confirmed case may have occurred within a 14‐day period before the onset of illness in the suspected case under consideration.
The World Health Organization recommends the implementation of a quarantine of 14 days for people defined as close contacts of cases of COVID-19. Quarantine is referred to restriction of activities and/or separation of asymptomatic suspect cases COVID-19 in a way that prevents further transmission of the disease.
If quarantine is implemented for asymptomatic travellers arriving from overseas, in accordance with Article 32 of the International Health Regulations (IHR) the following measures are recommended:
- Infrastructure: there are no specific universal guidelines in regards to the quarantine facility, however adequate measures should be taken for the space in order to prevent further potential transmission of the disease.
- Accommodation and supplies: Provision of adequate food and water, appropriate accommodation and clothing, protection for luggage and other possessions, appropriate medical treatment and means of necessary communication (in a language that they can understand) should be provided to travellers.
- Communication: appropriate communication channels should be established to avoid panic and to provide appropriate health messaging so those isolated can timely seek appropriate medical attention when developing symptoms. Communication of people in quarantine with their families and embassies should be facilitated and if possible access to internet and other means of communication as well.
- Respect and Dignity: all people in quarantine should be treated, with respect in terms of their human rights, freedom and dignity, taking into consideration their gender, sociocultural, ethnic or religious characteristics.
- Duration: the period of 14 days is recommended for quarantine which corresponds with the known incubation period of the virus, based on existing information which may be increased due to a delayed exposure.
- Personnel: all personnel working in the quarantine must be trained about the following precautions: keep a distance of at least 1 meter from people in quarantine, follow guidelines about hand washing and respiratory hygiene, especially after being in contact with respiratory secretions, before eating and after using the toilet (hand hygiene involves either washing hands with soap and water or rubbing hands with alcohol; rubbing with alcohol is preferable when hands are not visibly soiled, and washing hands with soap and water when visibly soiled).
- People in quarantine: they should know how to practice respiratory hygiene and realize the importance of covering their nose and mouth with bent elbow or tissue, when coughing or sneezing, and immediately discard the tissue. The same precautionary advice should be given to all persons in quarantine upon arrival. They must remain in their confinement. If there is a balcony then they should not be in contact with people in the adjacent balconies.
- Seeking medical care: both staff and people in quarantine should understand the importance of seeking immediate medical care in the event of symptoms.
Quarantine area requirements
- The quarantine rooms must be adequately ventilated. If natural ventilation is not feasible, artificial ventilation should provide 100% fresh air without recycling.
- Each person should reside in a separate room with an indoor toilet equipped with liquid soap and water.
- If it is not possible to put in quarantine people from the same family in separate rooms, then there must be a distance of 1 meter between the beds. People in quarantine should be kept at least 1 meter apart.
- Quarantine facilities should be cleaned and disinfected daily (1-part household bleach and 99 parts of water or 70% ethanol). Particular emphasis should be placed on surfaces frequently touched by hands such as bedside tables, bed sheets and other furnishings, toilets, washbasins, door knobs, etc.
- Personnel entering the quarantine room should wear disposable gloves and a surgical mask and practice hand hygiene after their disposal.
- Bed linen and clothing should be collected in plastic bags and then washed with detergent and water at a temperature of 60–90 ° C and dried thoroughly.
- Waste should be collected in plastic bags and disposed of in approved waste disposal sites.
- Personnel providing food should wear surgical masks and gloves and leave food trays outside the door of the room.
- If no disposable dishes and cutlery are used then the tray and dishes should be placed in the dishwasher after eating, then washed and disinfected at 77 ° C or above for at least 30 seconds or at 82 ° C or with a chlorine solution of 200 ppm.
Early diagnosis and case management
- People in quarantine should monitor their health including body temperature measurement twice daily and report any fever and respiratory symptoms and signs. People with underlying conditions should be monitored for the course of their underlying problems also.
- Temperature measurements and manifestation of symptoms should be reported by telephone to a person at the reception who will record the results of the monitoring twice daily: in the morning at 10:00 and in the afternoon at 18:00. However, symptoms occurring in the interim, should be reported and medical attention should be sought in accordance with the National Public Health Organization’s (EODY) guidelines.
- Any person in quarantine who develops fever or respiratory symptoms, at any point during the quarantine period, should be treated as a suspected COVID-19 case.
- It is advisable, if feasible, to examine clinical specimens at the end of quarantine regardless of whether or not they developed symptoms.
Availability of supplies
Care must be taken to ensure that adequate supplies are readily accessible in the hotel to prevent transmission of infection:
- hand soap and water or alcoholic cleaning solution
- simple surgical masks
- disposable gloves
- garbage bags
- surface cleaning liquids
Archive of staff members and all persons in quarantine
For the purpose of public health protection, the hotel’s management must keep a record of staff members and all persons staying at the hotel including their name, nationality, date of arrival and departure, contact information (address, telephone, e-mail), to enable contact tracing of any close contacts of COVID-19 cases, which may be subsequently identified.
Note: Health professionals managing suspected cases should take precautionary measures for droplet-transmitted diseases including: FFP2 or FFP3 mask, waterproof robe with long sleeves, gloves, eye protection (glasses).
For further information, please contact the National Public Health Organization (EODY) on telephone numbers 210 5212054, 1135 (24 hours)